If you told anyone before the 2023 NFL Draft the Houston Texans would land franchise quarterback C.J. Stroud and the best defensive player in the class, Will Anderson, chances are those people would have laughed at you. Well, everyone but NFL draft expert Daniel Jeremiah, that is, who predicted it would play out that way hours before the event.

Now it’s the Texans who are doing the laughing. Houston revitalized the organization with its 2023 draft haul.

Could a team like the New England Patriots do the same in 2024? Could the Patriots keep their third overall pick, which they likely will use on a quarterback, and then jump back into the top five or top 10 for another franchise cornerstone?

It’s a long shot, of course. And it would take a treasure chest of draft capital to pull off. But the Patriots have needs that align with the strongest positions in the 2024 class, specifically offensive tackle and wide receiver. Landing a quarterback and then a player at one of those positions would go a long way in jumpstarting the rebuild.

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Again, it’s unlikely. It’s far-fetched. But isn’t that how it was viewed before Houston did so in 2023?

Here are five players the Patriots could trade back into the top five or top 10 for.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR
This might exceed even a dream scenario for Patriots fans. Widely considered to be the top wideout in the NFL draft, Harrison is viewed as the most NFL-ready prospect in the entire class. The Ohio State product is likely to be a top-five pick, but there’s always a chance a player falls. Especially if the Arizona Cardinals trade No. 4 to a team like the Minnesota Vikings, who are considered a trade-up candidate for the fourth quarterback available. If so, could the Patriots jump back in with another trade-down candidate in the Los Angeles Chargers? Maybe the New York Giants, if LA selects an offensive tackle?

Rome Odunze, WR
Sticking with the receiver position, Odunze is more likely to slip than Harrison. The Washington product is Jeremiah’s favorite player in the draft, but he’s competing with Harrison and Malik Nabers among the top receivers. If quarterbacks are selected with four of the top five picks, and if the Chargers, Giants and Tennessee Titans rotate between offensive tackles and receivers, Odunze could be available when the skill player-rich Atlanta Falcons are on the clock at No. 8 or Chicago Bears at No. 9. We know the Bears, who could pair a wideout with expected No. 1 pick Caleb Williams, like to gather future draft capital.

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Joe Alt, OT
Alt is viewed as the top tackle prospect in the NFL draft. There’s a very good chance Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers select the Notre Dame product at No. 5. Unless, of course, the Chargers and Giants select the best receiver prospects. Or maybe the Patriots trade up with either LA or New York to secure their own tackle of the future? It’s unlikely Alt slips past the Titans, who pick seventh.

Taliese Fuaga, OT
Fuaga, ranked Jeremiah’s No. 10 prospect, is right behind Alt at the offensive tackle position. It’s possible his floor is No. 10 to the Jets, which is why the Falcons (No. 8) present a sweet spot for a trade back. Atlanta figures to address defense in the first-round while other teams jump on the receivers and tackles. If Atlanta is willing to pass on the best defender available for future draft capital, New England might be able to grab Fuaga.

Troy Fautanu, OT
The same thinking goes for Fautanu. The Washington product, Jeremiah’s No. 11 prospect, is viewed as a starting tackle with versatility to play any of the five offensive line positions. If the Chargers select Alt and Titans pick Fuaga, a reasonable expectation, perhaps the Patriots jump the Jets for the third tackle prospect to protect their potential franchise quarterback. Or perhaps the Jets select a receiver and New England offers future picks to quarterback-needy teams like the Vikings (No. 11), Denver Broncos (No. 12) or Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13)?

Now, admittedly, there are clear differences between the Texans’ trade last April and a move the Patriots could make. Houston sent Arizona pick Nos. 12 and 33 and a first-rounder in 2024. New England does not have another first-round pick this year, but do have a similar second-rounder (No. 34). It would mean the Patriots, if the package were to be similar, would have to part with first-rounders in 2025 and 2026 as well as No. 34 overall.

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Too rich? Perhaps. But the Texans proved the right selections make the deal worth it.

Featured image via Steven Bisig/USA TODAY Sports Images